Monday, August 10, 2009

In Sickness and In Health

We plan ahead, always! Yes, we live for the moments, the fun, the challenges! But in essence, we really plan ahead to accomplish goals!

We had BIG plans this season! To get Casper to a level in his training to compete at a Reining Horse show in at least the Green as Grass classes. He got two months in February at the trainers. A very good two months too! He came home knowing so much more that I needed training just to give him the correct cues.

We went to a few competitions, mostly stuff he already knew, but we did compete in two Xtreme Trail competitions and I could feel just how advanced he was compared to last summer. Good training is worth the money!

His second training session approached and I busied myself getting him ready. Our farrier put the right shoes on him. Several weeks ahead of time the Vet gave him a once over. I gathered all his needed "stuff", like his sheet, his grain, his boots and his feed. Man, did I ever worry about feed. With the weather we have had this year, the grass came on late. We were watching the fields everyday and it was still a low yield when it got cut and baled. But we got the summer grass in and I breathed a little easier knowing we could make it until the big field was cut.

I hauled Casper to the trainer. We were so excited. Both stallions (mine and hers) were going to attend the two week Pat Wyse clinic in Montana. Everything had to be perfect. The trainer wanted two weeks to get them both ready for the long, hot days they would spend working at the clinic.

I got my weekly reports on how Casper was doing. The trainer said his stops were really good. He was progressing and I was content!

Three days before departure for Montana, the Trainer called me to say she was concerned. Casper had been coughing. Now, it was very dry and dusty, so we did somewhat attribute the arid conditions to coughing. I asked if he had a temperature? I did not like the answer...he did...102.7 is a fever in a horse. He also was having thick yellow sinus drainage. OK, that means get the Vet!

Casper was checked out that same evening and deemed ill enough to warrant coming home. I brought him home the next morning. He was indeed not himself. He coughed with too much movement. He coughed after a nicker. Vet called it a viral cold. No treatment, we just needed to let it run it's course. I could tell he was miserable. I wet his hay, watered down his paddock and did what I could to make him comfy.

Casper has never been ill. Never in the 5 years I have had him. So, I guess it was time. He was in a paddock downwind from all the other horses. I disinfected the trailer and all the items he came in contact with to try and contain this cold. Try was the optimal word, because it wasn't but four days later that two of my younger horses also were sick.


So much for our well laid plans!!

But that is the point here.....we have nursed horses through seedy toe, walked out tummy aches, re-fed starved horses and cried over euthanizing a great friend. A little nasty cold takes a big chunk out of our summer season, but no reason to quit! We will continue on. We had to re-adjust our plans and cut out a few events, but we will someday finish out his training! If not next year, then the year after that!

The satisfaction of learning and growing with my equine partner is so worth keeping the Dream!

It has been a week since the Vet cleared Casper for light workouts. I am happy to report he is back to work and loving it! He is not a horse to sit, he wants to work and learn! We hope to get a few more shows in before our riding season is over!